THE return of the marble poppy put up to commemorate fallen soldiers repatriated through Royal Wootton Bassett could take another two years.

People in the town are being asked to help fund the rebuild of the memorial, also known as the Forever poppy.

This is to avoid using taxpayer money from those who didn’t take part in the conversation to have it rebuilt.

With the designers putting together a plan, crowdfunding, and building the poppy itself it will take some time before the monument can be brought back.

Town council spokesman Marion Sweet said: “We will most likely start in September and it will take eighteen months to two years for it to be back.”

It collapsed one night in October 2017 and in November last year the council sent out a questionnaire to see if people in the town would be willing to help fund the rebuild.

The monument was 10ft wide and weighed 4.5 tonnes. It was placed at the end of Marlowe Way in the town and was made to honour 355 service personnel brought back from Iraq and Afghanistan through RAF Lyneham. Royal Wootton Bassett council said it collapsed by a structural fault.

Coun Sweet told the Adver: “It will be a very similar design with a different texture. As we couldn’t repair it, we have designers we brought who will certainly come back with a poppy.”

The collapse, caused by the sculpture’s weight, happened three weeks before Remembrance Day and was caught on CCTV. In September the public voted unanimously for it to return.

Although the full cost is not yet known crowdfunding is needed because it is expected to cost more than the council can afford. Coun Sweet said: “When we have an idea of the cost, we will go out to crowd fund.”

Artist, Mark Humphries, donated the Italian marble poppy to the town. He suggested that there were multiple ways for it to be fixed, including sending it to Italy using the broken pieces with metal framework which would have cost significantly less. This was after he brought over a stonemason from Italy to look at the broken pieces and commissioned his own investigation.

The council has previously decided that the poppy could be rebuilt using bronze as an alternative material.

But members won’t know exactly how long it will take to rebuild or how much it will cost until the designs are finished.

An update is expected once a design and costings have been worked out.